Cleaving / Heartache

Heath Ledger
Cleaving / Heartache


“How much of the
secret self is in
the poem?”
—Colin Tóibín,
Love in a Dark Time

Energy—it lives
It goes into—hiding
The body—absorbs it
Like a sponge—Pain

The Pain—Principle
Energy—never gets
Destroyed—it cleaves
Itself—into Pleasure
Pleasure—into Pain

It takes—energy
To get—to know it
To feel—the difference
Cleave it—know it

Change your—heartache
Change it—and see
Change it—and see
That’s why—we’re here


“impulsive decisions,
many drafts anterior
to the version we read”
—Colin Tóibín,
Love in a Dark Time

As a Text—in Time

My Life—as a Text
A live performance—
Nonsense narrative
Like dreaming—

Truly perhaps—too much

Ad lib—Intertextuality
Rewriting yourself—again
Anterior—to yourself

Many drafts—rehearsals
The verses—we become
Becoming—Being Here
A portable—Presence

Pain and—Pleasure
Fearing closure—hurting
Omniscient—Lost One
Come down—to Earth

Listen to the—Oceanic Rush
Forefingers—in your ears


“a beautiful neutrality
most of the time—
giving nothing away”
—Colin Tóibín,
Love in a Dark Time

Looking back—seeing it
Like a House—of Cards
Stacked to—Tarot Heaven

A tightly wound-up—Top
A Mister Slinky—slow-mo
Motion down—the Stairs
Coiling—Uncoiling down

It’s motion—not emotion
It’s just a Toy—to Play
To Entertain—the Child
In us—that never dies…

Childhood’s End—how many
Rough drafts—deluxe editions
Does it take—to collapse

Karma Kid—killing time
Getting used—to being
Human—Plenty of Time
Getting to know—yourself

One of us—the Earth Twin
The Other—the Star Twin
Twins—are Telepathic
Faster than—Speed of Light

We think—instantaneously
Not limited—to Speed of Light
Love is faster—than Spaceships
Faster than—Einstein=mc2


“finding strategies to
expose and disguise
hidden sexuality”
—Colin Tóibín,
Love in a Dark Time

Back in the—Sixties
Allen Hall—the Temple
Red brick roof—stucco

Deep South—humidity
Did Faulkner—even get up
Before noon—to write
Absalom, Absalom?

His Delta Muse—humility
Mississippi River—sliding by
Campus—sluggish stoned

Down by the—lazy levee
Deep South Lit—Luxurious
Banana Republic—Plantation
Huey P. Long—Depression Era

A feel for—the Thirties
Mildewing my mind—what mind?
Wilting magnolia—Vivien Leigh
Young Cubans—after the Revolution

Gone with the Wind—Pecan trees
Lining the Quad—Big Baton Rouge
But Mardi Gras—the Big Easy
The French Quarter—ancient seaport

That’s where—Delta Imagination
Slowed down—like an old Riverboat
Delta Queen—Dixie Queen
Too hot—for Literature, Love

Instead—the oral tradition
Sitting on—the Verandah
Telling—retelling stories
About This—and That

Mardi Gras—Paradoxes
The Long Hot—Summers

Carib Culture—Northward
Deep into—Bayou Swamps
Old Cajun—Creole clans

Rich from—Oil companies
All my—Long Lost Weekends
My wealthy boyfriends—


“I am not what I seem,
believe me, so for the
magnanimous pagans
I pretend—substitute
a forked creature as
—Colin Tóibín,
Love in a Dark Time

Interviewing—Tom Sawyer
Spectral—American Kid
When asked—about love

“C’mon—Huck honey,
Climb back—on the raft”

Carnal knowing—Slavery

Addressed to—cleaving two
Completely—different worlds
Not saying anything—clearly
Variation of—“I know you know”

So that—carnal knowledge
Is what?—Muddy Poetry
Bonding the—Dixie Line
“I know—you know”

Henry Sutpen—Charles Bon
After the War—at the Gate
Sutpen Plantation—Henry
In love—his mulatto brother

Wanting him—to marry Judith
To continue—the Family Line
What a Dynasty—To be had

Philoprogenitive—Delta Love
Delta Dinge Queen Literature
To draw a Map—of the Action
(“His own—granddaughter!!!”)


Death by Cello

" So sweet the lyre,
so musical the strain,
By which my suit,
Beloved! is expressed."
—Luís Vaz de Camões

She folds her wings—and silently listens
His Muse so lovely—how it dismays her
Loftier than mere verse—the cello sings
A song unworthy of—mere ears to hear
Furrowing her brow—so often dismayed
Beauty dwells unabashed—in his sad heart
How he opens up—all her brief angers
All the lovely mysteries—proud distains
She sighs, the ardors—the delicious pains
This lonely man—of sweet persuasions
How he welcomes love—without a lover
Playing to his beloved—cello muse
Falling in love with him—A Morte stops

Translated by Puget, “His Insufficiency of
Praise,” from Sonnets of Europe


“I borrow heavily from
my reading, because I
take my reading seriously:
it is part of my total
experience and I base
most of my poetry on
—Thom Gunn
An open poetry—like what
I’m writing now—cleavage
Exceedingly—out of control
Admittingly—Ad Lib Lit

Finding out—by accident
Flowing with—Delta Detour

Sluggish—Delta Queen
Playing cards—with cheats
Scoundrels—smooth compelling
Verblessness—steeped in the
Tradition of—Aleatoric Poker

Learning to Listen—beyond
Infernal Iambic pentameter
Show Boat—Paddle Steamer
Mississippi River—Time


“Opening it—to the
energy of the present”
—Colin Tóibín,
Love in a Dark Time

Sooner—or later
Mostly later—opening
It up—the Energy of
The Present Situation

Something—that happens
To us—on the way to
Fingering—the Braille

Feeling our way—down
Into the Pain—the Text
Knowing it—Feeling It

Rewriting—the Action
Fuming Jewel—Dry Ice
Red—like Flaming Ruby
Emerald Green—for Go!!!

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